Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fourth of July

I got thinking about just what we’re supposed to be celebrating on the Fourth of July.  The signing of the Declaration of Independence.  An illegal protest against taxation without representation. 

History’s a bitch, ain’t she?

I wondered how many of the grand thinkers and philosophers who came up with the bright idea of taking a stand for that particular cause actually fought for its implementation.  Turns out about half.  Fifty-six men signed the Declaration.  Seventeen fought in the American Revolution.  Five were captured.  Eleven more had their homes confiscated.

The reason this all came to mind is that, as we submerge deeper and deeper into the increasingly muddy waters of another presidential election year, I am more and more irritated by those who wave flags.  On both sides of the aisle.

  There are all kinds of ways to be patriotic.  And shoring up a fallacious argument by jumping over the cerebral cortex and coming directly from the amygdala is a time honored way to appeal to voters.  I get that.

So, I don’t mind someone wrapping themselves in the bloody flag to make a political point.  Except it maddens me when the blood on that flag is not their own. It pisses me off when the blood of warriors is called upon to justify what is simply a point of view and, not content to end the farce there, anyone with an opposing opinion is demonized as an ingrate not worthy of sacrifices of real patriots.

Our country is split down the middle with little common ground upon which to build compromise. 
Here’s what I think. 
If we want to honor those who fight in wars our government sends them to fight, let us stop behaving like selfish children.  Let’s reach out to one another, work to hear each other’s words, and find a way to allow the country we profess to love to grow and to find, again, a righteous path to greatness.


  1. One of the most rational arguments I've heard so far during this campaign year.

  2. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Back in the 1700s the British East India Tea company (I think by then it had a slightly different name) began losing money because of a high tariff they paid to the government and because smugglers were smuggling tea into Britain and America then selling cheaper. The British gov't lowered the tariff and taxed the tea going to America. Many of the wealthy Britons owned shares of the company. The company was behind the takeover of India and made a lot of money from the resulting commerce. Even had their own army and navy. It serves as a good reminder of the power of money in corrupting a government. Though you don't hear much about this today, there were no corporations at the outset of our country's history. They were only permitted by government for a specific purpose and a set length of time. I'm pretty sure the founding fathers did this on purpose. It wasn't until a century later that corporations began their climb to power in the States. It's ironic to me that we find many of our problems caused and perpetuated by corporate interests. I find that once again, we are being taxed without representation. Our congressional "representatives" are representing the interests of the entities who can financially support them in their reelection bid. Sorry for the length of this, and please correct me if I'm wrong.

    1. Hey, I learned something, Denton. Thanks for sharing and no, I don't think you're wrong. I think you hit it on the head. Greed oftens wraps itself in the flag.

  3. Often the people who want to wrap themselves in the American flag are the same ones who weren't willing to wear a military uniform.

    Those are the very politicians who find it a lot easier to send our men and women off to war than it is to appropriate adequate funding for the long term care and treatment of our soldiers after their return from the battlefields.

    And another thing. I'd like to know how current soldiers and people who served this country in uniform feel about a political party that wants to implement laws that suppress the right to vote. How many times do we have to fight the same battle over and over again?

    A highly decorated WWII veteran in Florida, who has voted every year since WWII, has to now prove he is a U.S. citizen before he will be allowed to vote in November.

    In Texas, a gun registration is deemed adequate ID to vote, but a college Photo ID is not. How can that be right?

    Our biggest threat to freedom is not from some terrorist group, or on some foreign battle field. It is from within.

    If a state wants to implement voter ID laws, that is fine, but that state should issue Photo IDs for free to every registered voter who needs one.

    I actually think we would be better off having a lottery system for choosing our congressmen. A random pick of names every two years for House members and every six years for Senators would have a good chance of producing smarter and more patriotic congressmen than what we have now.

    I agree with you, Pam. Sorry for my rant on all of the above.